Paradigm-backed Utopia Labs has launched USDC stablecoin bank transfers for businesses aiming to accelerate crypto payments adoption.
The new offering enables entities from almost all over the world to send USDC to any U.S. bank account, Utopia said Thursday. The move aims to bridge the gap between fiat and crypto and improve the speed and convenience of transactions by avoiding the need to go through centralized exchanges.
Utopia said the U.S. banking system has failed to support crypto organizations, and its solution addresses this shortfall head-on. Businesses that make, raise or send money in crypto can pay service providers, office rent or “literally anyone who has a U.S. bank account” via USDC, the firm said.
Venture capital funds sending USDC wires to portfolio companies and crypto projects off-ramping their on-chain revenue were further examples of potential use cases, Utopia added.
“USDC for B2B payments == goodness!,” CEO of USDC issuer Circle Jeremy Allaire said, responding to the news.
“Will need to try this out. Would solve a lot of our problems and remove the need for banks,” UMA treasurer Kevin Chan added.
How it works
Businesses can apply by submitting their know-your-business (KYB) and know-your-customer (KYC) verification details to Utopia Labs, which says it can approve applications in under two business days.
Once approved, businesses can start offramping USDC at a guaranteed 1:1 conversion rate with the U.S. dollar, for a 0.3% fee, according to its website. The USDC transfers are exclusive to the Ethereum blockchain with no limits and are compliant with ACH (automated clearing house) transfers — received in less than three business days, the firm said.
While the service is available to most countries worldwide, companies in Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Syria, Belarus and Russia are not supported, Utopia added.
Utopia’s roadmap includes providing offramping for any token, not just USDC, expanding to other blockchain networks and introducing onramps to get fiat into crypto.
Beyond crypto payments, Utopia Labs also offers treasury management for Safe (formerly Gnosis Safe) users, enabling token swaps with liquidity across more than 100 decentralized exchanges through its integration with 0x Protocol.
We’re ‘so back’
Utopia Labs raised $23 million in a 2022 Series A funding round led by Paradigm, with participation from Circle Ventures and Coinbase Ventures.
Paradigm caused confusion in May when the crypto-focussed VC firm removed references to crypto investment from its website in favor of a pivot to artificial intelligence. The firm has previously backed projects ranging from the decentralized exchange protocol builder Uniswap to the now-bankrupt FTX exchange.
Earlier this month, Paradigm suddenly returned crypto references to the site, with co-founder Matt Huang saying, "It was kind of ridiculous." Now it is "so back."
Disclaimer: The former CEO and majority shareholder of The Block has disclosed a series of loans from former FTX and Alameda founder Sam Bankman-Fried.
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